2024 is upon us. And with a new year comes a new slate of predictions, some of which will inevitably be wrong. But hey, we’ll give it the ol’ college try.
Prediction #1: Brand Values Will Take Center Stage
Sorry to tell you this – but it’s an election year. And with an election year comes lots of hand-wringing, stance-taking and noise-making. With emotions running high across the media landscape, brand values – and a whole bunch of questions – will take center stage. Where does your brand stand on critical issues? Should you speak out or stay quiet? How do you ensure that whatever you do is in sync with your employee-base or culture?
If you haven’t already, it’s important to be prepared. Take the time to consider the questions above and get directionally aligned with your team on how to respond to critical issues. Make sure that your brand values are clearly defined so that they can act as a guiding light in the midst of thorny issues. The last thing you want is to be caught flat-footed when the questions come.
Prediction #2: The A.I. – Marketer Combination
As the use of A.I. increases, marketers will be tasked with further knitting it into their processes and functions with an emphasis on amplifying productivity. Writers will use ChatGPT to get an article started. Creative teams will begin generating imagery and concepts with the help of MidJourney and DALL-E. Video editors will begin using tools like Pika to generate unique video concepts.
Every single one of these tools has the ability to drastically increase and alter the way creative work – and versions for testing – is generated. The key is for marketing leaders to be intentional in pushing their team to utilize these tools and embed them into their processes. Old habits die hard, so there will be a need to “rewire the brain” of organizations to thread A.I. into tasks wherever and whenever possible.
Prediction #3: A Strategic and Creative Awakening
A.I. will also shape the cultural conversation. As it becomes more capable, it will lead to fundamental, near-existential questions surrounding people’s role in the marketing workforce and beyond. In our mind, the answer to many of those questions lie in strategic and creative capabilities. While A.I. may be capable of tasks like penning an article or generating an image, it has less capability surrounding deep research, strategy and conceptual thinking. As a result, these two areas will become critical to marketer skill sets, and talent who specialize in strategy and creative will come at a premium.
Prediction #4: A Thirst for Human Connection
Okay, okay, at this point, clearly A.I. is the megatrend shaping our predictions. But hey – it really is that big of a deal.
Here’s another potential impact from the increasing interaction with robots (for lack of a better term) – people will start to thirst for more human connection and interaction as a result. The opportunity is for brands to piece together how to create experiences that truly feel more unique and personalized. Whether that’s showcasing your people and their quirks, embedding the human touch throughout your website, or even creating personal “wow” moments like we detail in this recent post, finding ways to create true connection with your target audience will have an increasingly bigger payoff when implemented correctly.
If 2023 is any indication, 2024 will come with plenty of surprises. We’ll see which of our predictions come true and which don’t. Have a great year ahead.